Overall and Final Verdict
Much like the original, the ErgoDox Infinity isn’t going to be everyone. It is designed for keyboard enthusiasts who are looking for an ergonomic keyboard design with complete customizability. That is a fairly small market compared to your standard Razer or Corsair keyboards. Add to that being a kit there are going to be a lot of people who think it is crazy to pay to build your own keyboard. Funny enough those same people might also enjoy building their own PC. There is a lot to be said for the sense of accomplishment you get from building something yourself and building the ErgoDox Infinity gives you that. The new design is much easier to build than the original as well now that they preinstall the controllers and the tiny diodes that I fought with on the original ErgoDox.
The ErgoDox Infinity takes what the community designed in the original ErgoDox and fixes a few of the issues and limitations of the original design. Adding stabilizers to the 2u keys and using a backplate might seem like small things, but they add a lot to the overall build quality and the typing experience. The new LCD screen made typing in multiple layers possible for me but I am hoping that people step in and add more to its functionality. The move to having a controller on each half got rid of the lag and opened up the possibility of running just half of the ErgoDox Infinity as a gaming controller. In fact in all of my testing this is where I most likely see me using the ErgoDox Infinity the most. I found with the original ErgoDox as well as the Infinity that for me to adjust completely to the unique layout and design I have to use it as my only keyboard and for me I spend too much time moving from computer to computer as well as my laptop to be able to give it 100%.
There were a few downsides that stood out as well. The biggest for me was the lack of rubber feet, when using the Infinity it would slide around on my desk more than I am comfortable with. In addition, without feet I am worried that it will cause damage to my desk in the long term. Massdrop once again skimped out on the cables, the difference between the 3 foot and the 6-foot cable from Monoprice (the company they got the cables from) is $1.27 or $1.66 if we move to a 6 and 3 foot rather than the 1 and 3 provided. I was also disappointed in the quality of the keycaps from Signature Plastics, the single shot keys are a world apart from the DSA kits I have gotten from them in the past.
So is the ErgoDox Infinity the keyboard to go with? Well if you were a fan of the original there isn’t a question at all. This is a huge step forward from the original designs and currently the only place to get one is in a Massdrop group buy so you should grab one up if you can. For someone who has never tried an ErgoDox you do need to be able to commit completely. It is a great layout to type on and being able to have my hands father apart when typing helps my posture a lot. If you type a lot at work you might want to pick up a carrying case and take the Infinity with you though, at least until you get used to it. The downsides are all easy and cheap to fix.
The pricing is a little hard to follow on the kit but let me break that down for you. They list the MSRP as $499.99 but really the only place to get the kit is through Massdrop so really we need to focus on the drop prices. It starts at $299.99 and drops down to $199.99 for the kit. Keycaps will run another $39.99 and if you go with some of the more specialized key switches you can add a little more to the costs. Overall the full kit tested here today would run $239.98 shipped to me. This is basically the same price as the original ErgoDox kit from Massdrop and the quality and features of the Infinity is a big step forward. Pricing out a similar Original ErgoDox kit from FalbaTech is going to run $261.40 shipped as well. So the ErgoDox Infinity seems to be the go to option for anyone considering an ErgoDox.
As far as non-kit options here is the breakdown
Truly Ergonomic Mechanical Keyboard $250 + Shipping
Matias Ergo Pro $200 + Shipping
ErgoDox EZ $260 + Shipping
Kinesis Advantage Contoured Keyboard $269 Shipped
The only keyboard that seems to be competing is the newly introduced Matias Ergo Pro. Hopefully soon we can get one in the office to see how it compares to the ErgoDox, ErgoDox Infinity, and the Truly Ergonomic that we have on hand. It might seem a little crazy to put a good value award on a $200 keyboard that you build yourself but in comparison to the previous ErgoDox, what it would cost to build one from other sources (with less features), and what all of the other ergonomic mechanical keybaords cost I think the ErgoDox Infinity is a good deal.